Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Makeovers, birthdays, daughters and shopping

Well ... the makeup lesson was good. I didn't learn anything spectacularly new, but I find that kind of reassuring. Terry, the lady that ran it was lovely. Had lots of tips and suggested a different shade of foundation. It seems that I need to remove the makeup with a makeup remover and not just soap and water ... and I need to moisturise. I kinda like dabbing moisturiser on my face. Another of those things that I never really thought about before.

Terry wasn't able to make me look like a 25 year old ... but I can live with that :)

I think, in a way, the nicest thing is just to meet people and be in places where being a transvestite is no big deal.

I had a lovely chat with my daughter a few days ago. She's in Central America vacationing. She mentioned that some friends she has in Mexico know quite a few guys that are transvestites and she'd met some of them. She said it was a little odd at first ... but she got used to it. And she had a chance to talk about "her dad". It sounded as though it helped her a lot to see that it's not such a weird thing. Just a little unusual.

My birthday has just passed. That was very quiet in some ways ... and also very special.

On Sunday my wife took me shopping. That was really nice. We visited Debenhams and discovered that like everywhere at the moment there is a sale. And then there was Marks & Spencer's. I ended up with several short skirts and some blouses. Having learned the lesson that the size of a garment need not bear any resemblance to its actual size I decided I needed to try things on. That was less nervy than I thought it would be. The people at the shop don't seem to mind if a guy goes into the changing rooms with an armful of skirts and the other shoppers don't even notice.

When I got home from work on Monday there was an envelope and a few wrapped p pressies from my wife. The envelope said to Andy/Andrea. It's the first time that she's referred to me as Andrea .. and that was surprisingly emotional for me. I think that it's a feeling of acceptance.

At the weekend there is a wedding and also a BBQ with Surrey Swans. Both should be lovely occasions.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Of lipstick and life

I have a makeover lesson booked at Charles Fox next Saturday. The web site says:

For many years now, FOX has been one of the premiere suppliers of make-up to the Tranny Community. Whether you need to create the look for an outrageous Drag-Queen or wish to blend happily into a crowd FOX has the right look for you.

For a relatively small fee, you will be taught all the tricks-of-the-trade by professional artists, experience a full makeover and get 10% discount off anything you wish to purchase in the shop that day

I have chatted with someone that gave it a try and they found it really helpful. So I'm expectant and hopeful. But also realistic. I think. I'm aiming more at the blending into the crowd look ... I think!

Maybe I'll get some hints on kiss proof lipstick. It's not the kissing I'm bothered about. It's just that the possibility of finishing a glass of wine with more of the lippy on my lips than on the glass would be kind of nice. Maybe also my wife would risk a kiss proof lipstick coated kiss. So OK ... I am bothered about the kisses as well.

My weekday lunchtime walk on Friday had me noticing all of the big fruit berries that are falling from bushes along the roadside at the moment. It seems to take so many berries to make a single bush. Got me to thinking again of how wasteful some processes seem to be.

Somehow, some convoluted chain of logic had me thinking about the entire meaning of life. There's a definition that I've heard that talks about being to Glorify God. Google provides lots of information on this. It goes something like:

It’s the stereotypical “deep” philosophical question. You’ve probably heard characters on TV shows ask it with the assumption that it cannot be answered. It’s the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

By God’s grace, the Reformed believer is not stumped by this question, for God’s Word has given us an answer for why we are here, and this answer is the first thing a child learns when receiving a Reformed education. So, to answer the question, “What is the meaning of life?” or, “Why are we here?” the response immediately comes: “To glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), and to enjoy Him for ever (Psalm 73:25-26).”

The above was taken from:

Once, not so very long ago, I would have sympathised with this view. Though I find it hard to believe that it really is the first thing a child learns when receiving a reformed education.

These days I don't see it that way. The reason is that either I've backslidden or I've become enlightened. Actually it's more that I just don't know. I mean I don't know about the meaning of life any more. Actually I don't know if I've backslidden or grown in enlightenment. Maybe a bit of both.

When I read the Bible verses quoted it seems that they aren't saying that the meaning or purpose is to glorify or enjoy God. They say people should do these things, sure. But they don't say it's the purpose or meaning of life. Well ... it depends on how you read it and the emphasis that you place on it and on the words around it.

That's the thing about the Bible I guess ... and all the different branches of Christianity that believe the same book but do different things. Each part deciding what emphasis to place on what parts. Which parts should be interpreted and understood literally ... and which parts need interpreting in a modern context.

Should Sabbaths be holy and work free?

Is the Sabbath on Sunday?

Is the virgin birth a critical concept?

Why was genocide OK in the Old Testament but it isn't now?

There is an interesting attempt to answer this from a group of Rational Christians at And yes, once I would have kind of agreed. But reading it now it just doesn't add up. I don't think that it ever did before really. I just went along with the philosophy of:
  • God is good
  • Everything that God does or says is good
  • If God tells you to do something it must be good
  • Even if it seems pretty bad
  • But no way would God want people to kill people now ... even though at one time He certainly seemed OK with the idea

The Rational Christians say:

Can the genocide in the Old Testament (OT) be used to justify genocide or mass destruction today?

Genocide, murder or any killing that is not necessary to defend another person's life is not justified. God alone has the right to take human life in cases other than defense. The only reason the Israelites were right to destroy cities in the OT is because they received a clear, direct command from God to do so. Any reason short of that, including humans deciding on their own that God wants them to kill others, is not enough to justify it.

Rational? Reasoned? Well ... lets say that I grow more skeptical.

Why is it OK for a modern day Christian to have two coats whilst there are lots of people that have none?

Why is it wrong to be gay or lesbian?

It seems to be all a matter of interpretation. How people choose to understand what the Bible says ... or how they interpret the world around them.

Really I guess my problem isn't that people believe different things. It's that some people selectively believe things and then condemn other people that make a different set of selections. And sometimes they do this in the name of God.

I feel an Indigo Moment arriving.

Emily Saliers:

we're sculpted from youth
the chipping away makes me weary
and as for the truth
it seems like we just pick a theory
ah it's the one that justifies
our daily lives
and backs us with quiver and arrows
to protect openings
cause when the warring begins
how quickly the wide open narrows

Maybe we all do it. Pick the theories and don't even notice it?

This has moved a long way from the meaning of life.

My thoughts as I walked down the path on Friday had me wondering about what the meaning of life is. Why am I here?

In the end I decided that meaning isn't just about being useful or fulfilling a purpose.

Once upon a time I did think along those kind of lines. That the meaning and reason for a things being was all tied up with its purpose and usefulness.

This takes me back to the berries on the pavement. The purpose of the berries is to make new bushes. But they don't ... well ... almost all of them don't. Only a tiny tiny, tiny number do. Maybe their purpose is to feed the birds? But mostly they don't do that either.

I thought of sperm as well ... so few of them do what they seem to have been designed to do.

And if people are designed with the purpose of glorifying and enjoying God. Why do so few achieve it?

In the end, and for the moment, I decided that if I need to know why I am here than the reason isn't to be found just in purposes, usefulness and function.

At the moment I feel that the main thing is for us to just be. And there is purpose in being. This is, maybe, what people refer to as a leap of faith. Why should there be a purpose in being? And the answer is ... I really don't know. It just helps me to get along.

Maybe the most useful philosophies and thoughts and feelings are the ones that help us get along.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Stepping out a little further

Yesterday was another special day in the life of Andrea. I managed to contact a group of transvestites that meet each month not too far from home. It seems that there are quite a few things that happen not too far away.

Anyway, I emailed B who kind of organises some monthly meetings at a pub. (S)he also produces a monthly "whats on in the area" newsletter and she and her partner organise a monthly get together at their home.

It just so happened that having emailed my queries to B over the weekend I discovered that the next home get together was due for Tuesday 10 July 2007.

It meant that I needed some new shoes ... ones with smaller heels. This also proved to be an irresistible opportunity to buy other things ... I'm gradually becoming a shopaholic.

So ... I organised leaving work a little early yesterday ... and took a small case full of clothes and makeup. Not quite sure what to expect.

They say that "the devil is in the detail" ... but sometimes it seems there are angels in there as well.

Over and over I am discovering that the transgendered community that I'm getting to know are the sweetest and friendliest that I have ever met. I guess it's possible to come up with a multitude of theories and reasons as to why this might be. But really, at the moment, the reality of the friendliness matters a lot more to me than the causes of it.

It was the first time that a self-made-up Andrea had been seen outside of home. That in itself is a special thing to me.

B and his/her wife said that they'd really love to invite myself and my wife over for a meal sometime. Just to provide my wife with a chance to get to know people in similar circumstances without being faced by a whole group of trannies.

And my wife is OK with the idea as well. That means a lot to me. It's not easy to put into words. I think it's in knowing that the Andrea in me doesn't have to be marginalised. That my wife is OK with being a part of the Andrea in me.

I chatted with B and his wife a while last night. mentioning the way that my own wife has said how less stressed and irritable I have been since I "came out". This isn't such an unusual thing. B's wife said something along the lines of ... well ... in a way when you are dressed you are different.

I've been thinking about that today. And yes, there is an element of truth in it. When I am dressed I don't even vaguely think about the hassles of the work day. It's a way of shedding burdens. Kind of therapeutic I guess. So, as well as being an opportunity to express an inner part of me that I've kept hidden for so many years ... it's also a way of letting go of some of the not-so-nice parts of the day.

B also said that if I'd like to go out for a meal or a drink with her, or shopping ... then she'd be happy to do that. I'm really looking forwards to taking her up on that.

At the meal last night there were quite a few girls that needed to change before setting off back home ... wash off the makeup .. remove the nail varnish ... become drab (dressed as a bloke) again. Mostly this was because of wives / partners that didn't know, or children being home.

I'd decided that I would drive home as Andrea. That was such a relaxed experience. Not having to worry about hiding myself before I got home.

As time passes I'm becoming less and less concerned about people discovering that Andrea exists.

I don't want to upset people ... but also I need to be able to be myself.

Ultimately if people decide that they cannot live with the concept of Andrea ... then really it means that they cannot live with the concept of me. Handling this might be seriously difficult at times ... but I know that pretending that Andrea doesn't exist is even more seriously difficult.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


The opportunity to surprise work colleagues with an impromptu announcement of Andrea during a tea break seems to have passed (Hobbies and being myself). A little after Friday lunch T announced she was leaving the company having lasted a whole two and a half days. I think that's a record for shortest serving employee since I joined the company - though there have been several short stays over the years.

Lunchtime conversation skirted around politics and taxation. I have an ambivalent view towards politics ... a little like my sexuality I guess :) Politics sometimes seem like a necessary evil.

There was a show on TV during the week about Cherie Blair (wife of ex UK Prime Minister Tony Blair). Amongst the people being interviewed was Laura Bush (wife of current US president George Bush). I don't think I'd ever heard her speak before. Like many leaders wives she often appears in the background and hardly ever in the foreground ... at least not on TV in the UK.

I think that probably Tony Blair, George Bush and Gordon Brown and many other leaders are mostly guys doing what they think is right ... but under pressure also from all kinds of conflicting influences. Some of the influences are a lot less wholesome than others. It's a shame that they aren't often prepared to admit that they have made mistakes. It's also a pity I guess that the media often seem to jump on politicians that change their mind and seem to think that for someone to admit they made a mistake and make a change in policy is worse than perpetuating the mistake.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Hobbies and being myself

I wonder if one day I will understand myself. I suspect not. But that doesn't worry me most of the time.

Taking my almost regular lunchtime stroll today I was thinking about the place that cross dressing has in my life. At times it's helpful to think of it in terms of being a kind of hobby. That seems to be especially so in terms of dealing with the urge to buy shoes and clothes. Seeing it as a hobby and setting a budget helps manage that.

Having said that, Andrea isn't a hobby to me. Andrea is me ... an aspect of me. I don't know how to express this really. I don't understand how it all fits together.

There was a time when cross dressing meant black lingerie and sexual arousal. That was the reason that I did it. At least that's how it seemed at the time.

The transition from that to wearing skirts, blouses, dresses ... and the eventual sharing of that with my wife led to the discovery of something different. It's not about sexual arousal. It's about being myself.

And yet I don't feel a need to dress or wear makeup all the time. It's more of a desire to just express something sometimes. About being free to do that sometimes.

It's nice to be at a place in life where I feel more free to be myself than I ever remember being before.

We have afternoon tea at work on Wednesdays. A new lady just joined the company and during the chatting over tea R suggested that over the coming few weeks everyone takes a turn at sharing something new about themselves. I'm not brave enough to stand up and say to everyone ... "Hello ... my name is Andrea and I'm a transvestite". But who knows ... one day!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Makeup, Global Warming and Divine Judgement

It's strange how sometimes you don't know how much you are missing something until you get a chance to try it again.

It had been a week since I had a chance to dress. And not until yesterday did I realise how much I missed the feeling.

I don't understand why that is. The feeling of release and peace that comes with it. But it does. It makes a big difference to me.

I'm not sure that I'm getting better at applying makeup ... though mostly I have the general idea. There's still a lot to learn. I guess I should try making a note of the techniques and taking photos. I think, though, that the way that lighting effects work the photos might not actually show what it really all looks like.

Mostly, I'm trying to enjoy the learning of it. Though it's definitely more perplexing at times than it is fun. And it takes soooo long.

There's still something special about that moment when the makeup is finished and the wig goes on.

I've not ever tried the hair without the makeup.

Ahhh well ... there are more important things to be concerned about than makeup.

Some interesting comments about the UK weather from Church of England Bishops according to the Daily Mail:

Although scientists say it is impossible to blame a single weather incident on global warming, senior church leaders have said the floods were almost certainly the result of man-made climate change. The Church of England bishops said the recent floods which claimed seven lives and deluged thousands of homes were the result of "moral degradation".

Rt Rev Graham Dow: believes the extreme weather is the direct consequence of mankind's lack of respect 'for each other'.

While stressing that those affected were innocent victims, they claimed the devastation was the consequence of the West's decision to ignore Biblical teaching, with an "arrogant" world "reaping what we have sown".

The Rt Rev Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle, whose district suffered horrendous flooding two years ago, believes the extreme weather is the direct consequence of mankind's lack of respect "for each other, for the planet and for God". He said: "This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way. "We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as environmental damage."

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, said people no longer saw floods as an "act of God". "However, we are now reaping what we have sown," he told the Sunday Telegraph.
"If we live in a profligate way then there are going to be consequences."

It's interesting that some Bishops are more certain about the consequences of Global Warming than are some scientists. And interesting that they see a need to bring a divine judgement slant onto a thing.

It seems kind of obvious that if people do bad things then there's a fair chance that bad things might happen. There's also a kind of justice in the concept.

What's not so easy is that often it seems that the people that do the bad things aren't the ones that suffer the bad results. In fact the people that suffer most often seem to be the innocent victims. It's not so easy to see the justice in that.

I'm not sure how Global Warming can be seen as a strong and definite judgment. If it's happening it's happening as a natural result of scientific processes. There are discussions to be had about the causes and the morality of it all. But the strong and definite judgment perspective doesn't seem to help. Can it be right that strong and definite judgement should directly result in innocent victims? They always seem to.

This logic isn't so far from the Andrea is an Abomination kind of theory. A logical conclusion of this kind of thinking is that God could get so upset by a few guys putting on makeup and wearing frocks that He needs to pick on some innocent victims to make Him feel better.

Nahhhhh ... I don't believe that for a moment.

I'm having problems and doubts about God ... but if He's there then I think that he's a lot more Godly than that. I think that the Bishops think that as well.